First off, I hope everyone in the U.S. had an amazing Thanksgiving yesterday!
In all honesty, I wanted to post a video today but unfortunately my skin decided to go crazy this week (something that doesn’t normally happen to me), and I just couldn’t face going in front of the camera. Sorry about that, but I do have some drugstore recommendations for you! I love a cheap (but great) beauty find, so today I thought I’d briefly tell you about some of myfavoritedrugstore matteeyeshadows that will only run you $10 at the most. I’ve been absolutely loving an all-matte eye look lately. It’s classic & very flattering for all ages. It’s also perfect during the daytime for work or school.
Great matte shadows can be a little elusive to find and tempermental to work with. Sometimes even high-end brands can’t do them well. Some require a sticky base like a primer to grab onto the eye properly, while others catch and skip unless blended over a smooth surface. They generally need more blending and finesse than shimmer or metallic shadows, so finding good mattes at the drugstore level is like finding a diamond in the rough!
So, my list of recommendations is no way meant to be an exhaustive list. There are tons of drugstore & other affordable brands out there that produce great quality shadows. This is just a small list for you guys. So let’s start!
ELF COSMETICS MAD FOR MATTE PALETTES
You really can’t go wrong with these all-matte palettes from ELF. I’ve talked about them on the blog before in this post, and over on my Instagram stories back in the summer. These are absolutely stunning! They blend seamlessly with no skipping, have beautiful pigmentation and great longevity. I have two, in NudeMood & SummerBreeze, but I believe ELF does a few more in other color varieties. At$10.00fortenawesome–qualityshadows, Ithinktheseareasteal and I truly recommend them if you’re looking for mattes at a low price point. I’d say these are my top picks.
Pictured, top left panel – NudeMood – Shop from ELF or Ulta
Picture, bottom left panel – SummerBreeze – Shop from ELF or Ulta
PHYSICIAN’S FORMULA MATTE COLLECTION QUAD EYE SHADOW
This is an unexpected one. While Physician’sFormula is not primarily known for eyeshadow, they do have some hidden gems. CanyonClassics, pictured above, has been around forever and for good reason: it’s absolutely beautiful on the eyes! It’s in small, dinky, unattractive packaging that you wouldn’t look at twice, but I tell you it’s very deceiving. It’s an all-matte quad of very cool-toned shadows that are absolutely perfect for subtle daytime looks. The matte grey, in particular, blends better than some greys I have from MAC! If you haven’t tried this guy already, or haven’t dug it out of your collection in forever, I suggest you do. The swatches above look terrible, but don’t get too hung up on that. On the eyes, the pigment & blendability are definitely there. Thiswillrunyouabout$8.00orsodependingonwhereyoushop.
If you’re in the market for more affordable mattes than either ELF or Physician’sFormula can provide, go straight to Wetn’ Wild then. Their ColorIconPalettes & Quads contain amazing quality mattes for a tiny price tag. Impressive color, easy blending and only minimal fading (over a primer). I’m not sure if Wetn’Wild has made an all-matte palette or quad yet, but the quads usually contain at least one matte transition shade and the palettes can contain anywhere up to eight mattes (but that does vary). The ColorIconQuads are a mere $2.99, while the Palettes are $4.99 for ten shadows. Seriously, you can’t wrong! If you’re interested in an in-depth review of a Wetn’ Wild palette, see my post on the ComfortZonePalette.
Pictured, left two panels – RoseintheAir – Shop from Wet n’ Wild here or Ulta
Pictured, right two panels – ComfortZone – Shop from Wet n’ Wild here or Ulta
*HONORABLEMENTION: MaybellineCityMiniPalette in MatteAboutTown. Unforunately mine has since gone missing from my collection, but I’d like to continue playing with this one before I can definitely recommend it. That being said, I was really impressed with this palette the last time I used it. Maybelline is notorious (in my mind) for horrible shadows, so I think this must be a new formulation for them. It was about time! The mattes applied very well and stayed on all day without much fading.
Have you tried any of the products mentioned in this list? Do you have any drugstore recommendations for me? I’d love to know!
I’m gonna get right down to it. If you’re currently in the market for an affordable autumn eyeshadow palette, look no further than NYX Cosmetics. [UPDATE11/9/18: thispaletteisnolongeravailable.] I recently picked up the limitededitionGrindMachinistShadowPalette from Ulta and I’m completely obsessed with it! The colors, the textures, even the packaging; everything is awesome. If you swapped NYX’s name on the front of the palette with a high-end brand, I wouldn’t blink an eye. That’s how good these shadows are. I can’t remember the last time I used shadows from NYX, let alone loved a product from them as much as I love this palette.
When I first saw the color scheme my immediate thought was that it looked kinda similar to the ABHSubculturePalette (which I believe is now discontinued?), especially with the greens, mustards & warm brown mattes. Now while I never owned or used the SubculturePalette myself, its infamous reputation for intense fall-out and difficult blendability seemed to taint its lifecycle.
I can say that these shadows from NYX have none of those same reported problems. Theyblendeffortlessly, havebeautifulpigmentation, andlastquitelongwithoutfading (about10hours). I also do not notice any creasing (when applied over a primer), nor do I notice much fall-out during application. Near perfection in my eyes.
Here are some fast facts on the palette:
$12.49 @ Ulta for 12 shadows
7 mattes, 4 shimmers, 1 duo-chrome
The GrindMachinistPalette is part of a larger limitededition collection containing 3 eyeshadow palettes, 3 lipsticks, 3 lip lacquers, & 3 highlighting duo’s. I believe this collection is exclusive to Ulta, but you can also purchase it from nyxcosmetics.com. But do keep in mind the prices at Ulta are much cheaper than from NYX, at least in regards to the palettes. For example, this palette retails for a whopping $25.00 if you buy from NYX!
I absolutely love that there are moremattesthanshimmers in this palette. Usually in the drugstore the ratio more heavily favors shimmers over mattes. You can do any variety of looks with these colors, so I see this as a rather complete palette (meaning you won’t have to bring in other colors from other palettes to complete a look). The mid-tone mattes give it a wonderful wearability for work or school, while some of the shimmers and darker tones make it adaptable for more dramatic looks.
My favorite shades from this palette are the mustardyellow (totally gorgeous & quite wearable when paired with the matte browns), the sepiabrown (looks beautiful all over the lid), the duo–chromewarmbrown (it’s like a more dramatic version of Club from MAC), and the mattegreen (so rich but make sure to use a primer under this shade, it can stain).
SOME LOOKS USING THIS PALETTE
So if you like what you see here, get yourself down to Ulta quick! I’m not sure how long this product will be in stock. I think it’s a truly unique palette for the drugstore that offers awesome quality & trendy colors for an affordable price tag.
What was the last item from NYX that you loved? Would you pick up the Grind Machinist Palette? I’d love to know!
You may remember I first posted about indie brand Juvia’s Place a few weeks back when they became available in Ulta stores. Well right before that post, my mom and I did a joint order from the Juvia’s Place website since they were having a sale on a few of their eyeshadow palettes at the time. We picked up three palettes in total: TheNubian, TheSaharan, & TheWarrior. So I’ve been playing with them ever since and now I’m ready to bring my thoughts to the blog!
This is going to be a bit different in form from my previous reviews since this is the first time I’ll be talking about several products in one review. So for each palette I’ll show you swatches, give you my pros & cons, and then my quick final thoughts. Lastly, I’ll show you one look I did per palette.
One note: the ‘Shopnow’ links I included below direct you to Ulta. If you’re outside the U.S. or Canada, click the second link in the above paragraph. Juvia’s Place does ship internationally from their warehouse.
Has longevity (I wore these shadows for around 10 hours with little to no fading)
Tons of fall-out during application
Crumbly texture on metallics
Ireallylovethispaletteandwouldrecommendit. If you like neutral-to-warm golds, bronzes & peaches this is the palette for you. I wouldn’t say it’s perhaps the most ‘everyday makeup’ friendly palette out there since it leans more towards shimmers & metallics, but you can certainly get some very wearable daytime looks depending on the shades you choose. I would recommend using your finger to apply the metallic shades (the two shades in the upper right corner of the photo above), or a wet brush; they can be crumbly and a bit messy otherwise. But once they are pushed onto the eye over a primer they cling very well and are gorgeous.
Has longevity (I wore these shadows for around 10 hours with little to no fading)
Tons of fall-out during application
1 slightly underperforming shade (Kia)
I had my eye on this palette for months and I have to say I was the most excited to start using this one out of the three. AndI’mhappytoreportthatIloveit! I love the bright pops of color that make this palette so unique. (If you’re not into experimenting with color, I’d give this one a pass.) Best of all? The mattes perform just as well as the satins & shimmers. Even though Jamila (the bright orangey matte) swatched poorly on my hand, it applied evenly and smoothly on my lid. As stated above, the only slightly underperforming shade of this whole bunch is Kia, the beautiful greenish shade in the upper right corner. It was a bit crumbly and didn’t layer over mattes well (I tried using it as a liner first). It performs best when you push it over the eye with a brush.
Has longevity (I wore these shadows for about 10 hours with little to no fading)
Tons of fall-out during application
Crumbly texture on some shimmers
Wow, this palette has some intense color payoff! Out of all the palettes from this post, I remember exclaiming ‘wow!’ a few times during application. Again, I would recommend to use your finger or a wet brush to apply the shimmers onto your eye. They are incredibly soft to the touch and don’t seem to cling to dry brushes very well. Juvia’s Place actually recommends using wet synthetic brushes to apply their satin & shimmer textures, but sorry, I just never do that. So I use my finger instead. Regardless, Ilovethisone too. It’s just so beautiful, the colors and the textures. The mattes perform superbly which for me is always the ultimate test.
THE NUBIAN PALETTE LOOK
THE SAHARAN PALETTE LOOK
THE WARRIOR PALETTE LOOK
Have you tried any of these eyeshadow palettes yet? Or any other Juvia’s Place products? I’d love to know!
So…Juvia’s Place is now available to swatch and play in stores at Ulta! Hurray! I’ve been eyeing this brand up for a while now so I’m thrilled that it’s become physically accessible to the public. If you’ve never heard of Juvia’s Place before, I briefly spoke about their backstory in my post about indie brands that I wanted to try. They’ve exploded in the past few years thanks in large part to social media and the glowing reviews they’ve received from influencers and customers alike. They’re primarily known for their high-performing, bright and colorful eyeshadow palettes, but they also stock highlighters, blushes, liquid lipsticks and brushes. All in all it’s a carefully curated roster of products, which is what you’d expect from an indie brand.
Juvia’s Place became available for purchase on Ulta.com back in late July after the official announcement of the partnership hit social media. Just this week their products started appearing in stores, as seen in the endcap image at the top of this post. They announced that they are currently in about 500 Ulta locations; I’m not sure if they plan to expand that any further.
The brand is cruelty-free and mostly vegan (but not 100%).
I have yet to go into my local Ulta and see what they have in store, but I did wander over to Ulta.com. It doesn’t appear that they stock Juvia’s Place entire line, but they definitely do have their most popular items (i.e. the eyeshadow palettes). So I’ll quickly take you through now which products Ulta offers, and which they don’t.
range in price from $20-$25 depending on the number of pans/amount of product
all palettes appear to be in stock at the time of publishing this post
ALL BLUSHES INCLUDING 2 PALETTES & 2 SINGLES
palettes are $18 for 6 pans
singles are $8
all blushes appear to be in stock at the time of publishing this post
TWO LOOSE HIGHLIGHTING POWDERS
The Nubian Loose Highlighters in shades Nubia & Nefertiti, both $14/each
both appear to be in stock at the time of publishing this post
Juviasplace.com stocks a total of 4 loose highlighting powders
THREE LIQUID LIPSTICKS
All matte formulations retailing for $12/each in the shades Soil, Afrik & Lulu
all three appear to be in stock at the time of publishing this
juviasplace.com currently sells 6 matte/metallic liquid lipstick duo’s for $18/each
The liquid lipsticks on Ulta.com are currently not stocked on the Juvia’s Place website at the time of publishing this post. I believe these lipsticks were part of the Afrique collection that launched simultaneously with their Ulta.com launch, so perhaps these shades are exclusive to Ulta but I’m honestly not sure about that.
THE PRODUCTS ULTA DOESN’T STOCK
Juvia’s Place also sells 8 brush sets on their site but Ulta is not stocking any at this time; again, I don’t know if this will change in the future.
Aquick PSA: at the time of publishing this post, Juviasplace.com is having a sale on some of their eyeshadow palettes (plus no shipping charge over $35 order within the U.S.). So right now they are cheaper if you order direct from the brand, just FYI. Not sure how long this will last but I wanted to make you aware. My mother and I did a joint order two nights ago and snatched The Saharan Palette, The Nubian Palette, and The Warrior Palette. So excited to finally get my hands on this brand!
Are you excited that Juvia’s Place is now carried in Ulta stores? Will you be picking anything up? I’d love to know!
You could say that anytime Urban Decay launches a palette, it’s big news in the beauty world. If Urban Decay knows anything, they know palettes. The release of the original Naked Palette in 2010 was a watershed moment in the beauty community created in part by the burgeoning social media scene of the time when new platforms and influencers were gaining popularity. While we were all shocked by the recent news regarding this iconic product (UD decided to discontinue the palette), we can assuage our grief by diving into exciting newer releases.
The Born to Run Palette is just this kind of release. It recently launched this summer and had all those in the beauty community talking. I was really wowed by the color range when I first saw the press images: lots of bright tones alongside some neutral, everyday shades. The theme of the palette is travel and jet-setting; having all the necessary shades you need in one place plus some fun pops of color. UD’s shadows tend to be very high-performing, so I wasn’t surprised when nearly all the reviews were glowing. I hauled this palette a while back, which I’ll link to here, but it took two trips to Ulta to finally get my mitts on this (it was sold out in one location).
Let’s jump straight into the review.
21 eyeshadow shades for $49.00 (0.42 oz total; 0.02 oz per shadow)
Born To Run Eyeshadow Palette offers endless escapes in one travel-ready package. With 21 shades and a full-size mirror, it lets you choose your own adventure.
If you find yourself packing multiple kits for one look, our Born To Run Eyeshadow Palette is your globe-trotting go-to.
When it’s time to grab your carry-on and dash off to the next big adventure, you’ll want to pack light. Enter Born To Run, an all-in-one eyeshadow palette that has everything you need to create neutral looks, add in pops of color and play with brights, no matter where you’re going. With 21 of-the-moment shades—from jewel tones and modern neutrals to more colorful shadows—you’ve got every possible eye look covered in one sleek kit. Made from our mind-blowing formula that gives each shade its velvety texture, rich color and blendability, Born To Run’s Eyeshadow shades hold tightly onto pigment that stays put.
Got a conference in Dallas where you need to look like a boss? Create subtle definition with creamy, light neutrals like Breakaway and Weekender en route (using the palette’s full-size mirror, of course). Or, blend Baja, a burnt orange matte, into the lids and smudge Accelerate, a reddish copper metallic, into the crease for a sunset-hued smoky eye that mirrors the view on your road trip through the Mojave Desert. If you’re dancing until daybreak in Prague, put a twist on the traditional cat-eye look and smudge Guilt Trip, a smoky purple shimmer, into the lash line to create an imperfect wing.
Can’t decide which awe-inspiring shade to swipe on next? No matter which shades you try, we designed them all to be universally flattering for any skin tone and any lifestyle. Whether you’re a total road warrior, a weekend escapist or a staycationer—this one palette has everything you need when you’re Born To Run.
SHADES & SWATCHES
BREAKAWAY (warm ivory shimmer)
STRANDED (pale rose gold with tonal micro-shimmer)
BLAZE (light metallic peach with pink shift)
WEEKENDER (light neutral beige matte)
STILL SHOT (bright peach matte)
RIFF (brown-nude matte with floating micro-sparkle)
GOOD AS GONE (deep brown satin with iridescent micro-shimmer)
HELL RIDE (deep fuchsia matte)
BAJA (burnt orange matte)
ACCELERATE (reddish copper metallic)
GUILT TRIP (smoky purple shimmer)
IGNITE (rose gold metallic)
SMOG (deep coppery bronze shimmer)
WANDERLUST (forest green with gold micro-shimmer)
WILDHEART (bright fuchsia satin)
PUNK (red-brown matte)
DOUBLE LIFE (metallic rust)
JET (black satin with deep shimmering purple shift)
DRIFT (charcoal satin with tonal micro-sparkle)
RADIO (deep emerald satin)
BIG SKY (frosted green shimmer with iridescent micro-sparkle)
HOW I APPLY MY EYESHADOW
I’ve written extensively on how to apply eyeshadow in an earlier post, which includes tips and photos/information on the brushes I typically use. I always use a tacky eye primer (my favorite is MAC Paint Pot in either Painterly or Camel Coat) as a base first so the powders have something to grab onto. I recommend using a primer especially if you have oily eyelids, or if you don’t want your shadows to crease or fade throughout the day. I typically use generous, fluffy brushes (e.g. MAC 217) to apply my shadows since I prefer blown-out and softly defined looks on me. Smaller, detailed brushes (e.g. MAC 219) are specifically for upper/lower lash definition only. I usually don’t switch brushes when I use different finishes, like matte or shimmer, as others might.
MY THOUGHTS ON…
Packaging: As you can see from the photo above, the packaging design is a collage of travel snapshots from different locations around the world, which I think is super cool-looking. The palette itself is quite sturdy without being too bulky or overweight. There’s also a nice, generous mirror inside which you would expect for a travel palette. However just keep in mind it’s not the smallest palette around. Certainly the UD Naked Basics Palettes are much more compact and in my opinion more travel-friendly than Born to Run, at least from UD’s line. It really all depends what you want out of your travel palette. If you want neutrals in a small format, go with something like the Naked Basics. If you want variety both in color & finish, Born to Run is perfect. I didn’t buy this palette with the intent of traveling with it, so the format doesn’t matter to me either way.
Rating: 5/5 ⭐️
Color range: This is what drove me to buy this palette in the first place. I love the color story here; the brights and metallics alongside the more neutral shades. You can go in a variety of different directions in terms of looks and I love that. The pitfall with some more neutral palettes is that you can end up creating the same look over and over again. This won’t happen here, so I applaud UD for that. There are 6 mattes, 6 shimmers, 3 metallics, and 6 satins. According to Blushy Darling’s review, the only shades that are not original to this palette are Smog and Punk. My favorite shades are Stranded (shimmer), Blaze (shimmer), Still Shot (matte), Riff (matte), Accelerate (metallic), Ignite (metallic), Wanderlust (shimmer), Radio (satin) and Big Sky (shimmer). Fun fact: Blaze is like a warmer version of MAC’s Patina shadow.
I still have one gripe though. While I love the colors in this palette, I do think it’s missing perhaps one more neutral, mid-tone matte shade. I found I kept having to go back to Riff for my crease shade. Weekender was too light and both Good As Gone and Punk were way too intense for that purpose. So in my opinion UD went a little too dark and provided a few too many liner shades for my liking.
Rating: 4/5 ⭐️
Application: I used every shadow in this palette in some form throughout the last few weeks and I can say that almost every color applies smoothly and evenly on the eyes with the exception of a couple. I thought I’d break it down my texture below.
Shimmers & Metallics: they are extremely creamy to the touch and they apply and blend out the absolute best on the eyes.
Satins: they are semi-creamy to the touch and apply/blend quite smoothly and evenly.
Mattes: they take a bit more work applying and blending on the eyes to get an even finish. They are definitely more dry to the touch. The worst performing shade of the entire palette is Hell Ride, the beautiful deep plum-berry matte from the second row. I LOVE the color, but try putting it in your crease and you’ll be sorely disappointed. It’s choppy as all hell and grabs at certain places, doesn’t want to blend in others, and is generally quite difficult to work with. It’s best packed onto the lid with a flat brush. The second shade I had trouble with is Still Shot, one of my faves. It was a bit patchy so I had to use my finger to pack color onto my lid, but honestly it wasn’t nearly as problematic as Hell Ride and in the end I still got it to work.
Rating: 3.8/5 ⭐️
Pigmentation: Without a doubt, the pigmentation on every shade in this palette is top-notch. I hope you can see that from the swatch photos above. The dark shades are dark from first swipe, the brights are bright from first swipe, etc. You don’t need to keep digging in again and again to get full color payoff, which is what we’ve come to expect from UD shadows.
Rating: 5/5 ⭐️
Longevity: Overall these shadows perform very well and keep their pigmentation over time. I did notice two issues after about 10 hours of wear. First, a little creasing with the matte shades and second, some fading of any of the purple shades (Wildheart, Hell Ride, & Guilt Trip) but only if I applied them to the lower lash line. I wouldn’t consider either one of these a major problem though considering the length of wear time.
Rating: 4.5/5 ⭐️
Price: This palette is $49.00 for 21 shadows, or about $2.33/shadow. The total product weight is 0.42 oz. or 0.02 oz./shadow, which to be honest seems quite low. However when you compare it against the Naked 3 Palette where you get considerably less shades (12), but more product per shadow (0.05 oz.) for more money ($54.00), it doesn’t seem so unreasonable. Or the Lorac Pro Palette where you pay less money ($44) but get less shades (16) for the same amount of product per shadow as Born to Run (0.02 oz.), again it doesn’t seem so unreasonable. You’re getting a lot of shades after all, the vast majority of which are perfectly workable, lovely textures that you can create beautiful looks with (with the exception of Hell Ride). Therefore I think the price is perfectly fine.
Rating: 5/5 ⭐️
SOME LOOKS I CREATED WITH THE PALETTE
Overall I think this is a beautiful palette that I would recommend to those who really love eyeshadow and who love experimenting with different looks. I think it wouldn’t be the right fit for someone who craves the same kind of look everyday (nothing wrong with that of course). The pigmentation and longevity are definitely there, but just keep in mind that application can be tricky with some of the mattes, and when I say that I’m referring predominantly to Hell Ride. If UD would replace that shade with one mid-tone crease color, the palette would be absolutely divine! But at the end of the day you’re getting a lot of good quality shades for a reasonable price point.
Have you tried the Born to Run Palette yet? If so, what did you think? I’d love to know!